Department of Education

Animal Ethics

Animal Ethics


Varietal range difference

There are over 330 species of mice in the world, but only the house mouse (Mus muscularis) should be kept as a pet in Australia. There are over 40 different types of domestic house mouse and these display a wide variety of coat colours and fur types, including long hair and
curly hair.

Physical characteristics

Size* overall length from nose to tail tip: 140mm - 180mm; approximate length from nose to tail base: 70mm - 90mm; approximate length of tail: 70mm - 90mm
Weight* adult male: approximately 20g - 40g; adult female: approximately 18g - 35g
Age at adult size 10-12 weeks
Average life span 2 years; range 1-3 years; maximum reported 6 years
Weight at birth 1kg - 1.5kg
Gestation period 19-21 days
Number of offspring 4-14
Weaning age 21 days
Range of breeding ages sexually mature from 5-7 weeks; female can have first oestrus cycle from 25-28 days; recommended breeding age 2.5-12 months; interval between births can be as short as 3.5-6 weeks
Body temperature 37.1°C - 37.4°C
Heart rate 310-840 beats/minute
Respiration rate 160 breaths/minute (94-163)

*Some types of fancy mice can be heavier and larger than traditional pet house mice

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